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The Best 18650 Batteries

In a Nutshell Our choice for the best 18650 battery is the Orbtronic cell. This battery has a high capacity (3100 mAh), and maintain their voltage until fully drained. A two-pack of these cells is available at Amazon for around $30. Also available are Panasonic 18650 cells, with a bit more capacity (3400 mAh). If you are looking for a …

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The Best 9V Rechargeable Battery

In A Nutshell The highest-capacity 9V rechargeable: Accupower’s 300 mAh 9 Volt Rechargeable NiMH Battery The best low-discharge 9V rechargeable: Tenergy Centura 9V 200mAh Low Self-Discharge NiMH Rechargeable Batteries The best lithium-ion 9V rechargeable: EBL 9V Lithium Ion Batteries The Details Low-self discharge 9v Ni-MH batteries have become available in the last few years. The “low-self discharge” label means these batteries …

The Best Rechargeable AA Batteries For Flash

In A Nutshell When recharging a camera flash, you need a battery capable of delivering a high amount of current in a short time. Ideally, you want the batteries with the highest rated capacity. The highest capacity rechargeable AA batteries are: Ansmann’s 2850 mAh batteries and Powerex’s 2700 mAh batteries. Of these two batteries, Powerex’s 2700 mAh gets the most positive reviews from photographers. It …

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The Best Ni-MH Battery Chargers

In A Nutshell The best Ni-MH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) battery charger is a “smart charger” like the LaCrosse BC-700 Charger (sells for $36).  Smart chargers have circuitry to prevent overcharging and damaging your batteries. They also provide features that allow you to test and “renew” Ni-MH batteries. If you are looking for a charger that also charges C, D and 9V batteries, we …

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The Best Women’s Cruiser Bikes

Recently we featured men’s cruiser bicycles. Now let’s take a look at women’s cruiser bikes, which have become very popular in recent years. Nearly every major bike manufacturer now offers at least one cruiser model, if not an entire line. We feature some of the best looking bikes below, with an eye towards classic styling.

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Efficient Planes Good For Business; Gas Guzzlers Get Left Behind

The airline industry is one of the nation’s biggest consumers of fuel – no surprise there – but new aircraft technology has dramatically improved planes’ fuel efficiency.  Besides drastically cutting carbon emissions, more efficient jetliners have proven critical for airlines’ financial bottom lines, and companies clinging to outdated technology are paying the price, as evidenced by this week’s American Airlines …

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Wind Lens Turbines Will Provide More, Cheaper Energy

Wind Lens Turbines Will Provide More, Cheaper Energy

Wind turbines are one of the most promising sources of large-scale renewable power.  Wind power doesn’t produce any pollutants, and unlike water or fuel resources, wind is literally an endless source of energy.  However, wind farms do require a substantial amount of space, which is why a much more efficient design like the “Wind Lens” could make wind energy cheaper …

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Energy Efficient Upgrades That Pay For Themselves

Home improvement can pay for itself, and even put cash back in your pocket – if you’re putting your money in the right places.  Renovations that increase your home’s energy efficiency aren’t just nice for the environment, they can be economical as well.  The folks at One Block Off The Grid offer a great guide to help you sort out …

Efficient Home Heating With Pellet Stoves

The newest generation of home heating stoves, which burn fuel pellets instead of firewood, can be a great choice for fending off winter’s chilly temperatures.  Pellet stoves are available in a wide range of styles and designs, and they can provide an extremely fuel-efficient source of heat.

Can An “Earthscraper” Provide Efficient Urban Living?

Mexico City is a sprawling city with nearly 9 million residents, and some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.  So how could developers possibly squeeze a 65-story structure into the middle of the city’s historic district?  Instead of building upwards, a newly proposed design calls for building down into the ground, creating the world’s first “earthscraper”.

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Top U.S. Cities For Winter Bicycle Commuting

For bicycle commuters, continuing to pedal through the winter months can be a daunting task, especially if one lives in a northern city. Often the decision for winter bicycle commuting comes down to perspective: Is cycling a sport or a viable form of transportation that offers a multitude of advantages such as saving money and improving the health of the …

Electric Vehicles – Looking Back, Looking Forward At The Smithsonian

Bet you didn’t know that an electric car was the nation’s best-selling vehicle back in ’04.  1904, that is.  If you think the late 1990’s were the dawn of this technology, think again – electric vehicles have been around for over a century.  A new display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, part of their “America On The Move” …

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The Best Shower Filters

I just replaced my shower filters, so I thought I’d update my best shower filter review from earlier this year. Each update to the review generates a lot of useful comments. So I’m incorporating what I’ve learned from those comments into this latest review.

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Gas-Free Commuting: Efficient And Amazingly Economical

Automobiles are a major source of pollution (no surprise there).  Cars also play a big role in our reliance on petroleum, which has its own environmental and socio-political baggage.  So reducing your time behind the wheel may be the socially responsible thing to do, but it literally has a more direct payoff too – namely, saving you a stunning amount …

Bike-Friendly Coastal Towns In The Northeast

Garnering the distinction of a bike-friendly coastal town in the Northeast is no easy feat. Roads along the New England coast are narrow with little to no shoulder let alone bike lanes and can get quite congested in the summer months. Rail trails are generally found more inland and don’t end on the shores of the Atlantic. However, a few …

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Efficient Technique: Buy It For Life

“Buy It For Life” means acquiring and using products that are built to last a lifetime. Amidst the thousands of disposable goods and cheaply-constructed gadgets that provide continual fuel for consumerism, there remain some products that promise enduring excellence. The movement to embrace high-quality, long-lasting goods promotes less consumption, less waste, and (often) less money spent in the long run.

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The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route: 2,000 Miles Of Freedom Cycling

Underground Railroad Bike Route

Few historical inventions could claim to offer its users as much freedom as the bicycle. Suffragettes of the 19th century went so far as to call the bicycle a “freedom machine”. So it’s only fitting that cycling and freedom once again meet up at the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. During the 1800s over 100,000 slaves sought freedom on the Underground …

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The Longest Paved Bike Trail In The U.S. (100 Miles)

Twenty years ago a trio of cycling enthusiasts had a vision for a network of bike trails around the Atlanta area. What began as a dream to provide Georgians with off-road trails to promote a healthy lifestyle has now developed into the longest paved bike trail in the U.S. Located 13 miles northwest of Atlanta, the Silver Comet bike trail …

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U.S. Electricity Demand to Fall 5-15% by 2020

Economists Doug Mitarotonda and Ahmad Faruqui of The Brattle Group recently teamed up with economists at Global Energy Partners to study and forecast American energy consumption. Their surprising conclusion is that the United States will be consuming 5-15% less electricity by 2020.

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A Town Without Cars: Bicycle City

Bicycle City is a planned community built around bicycles. No cars are allowed. A real world cycling utopia, the project, started by Ohio-based Bicycle City LLC, has been in the design phase since the early 1990s, but in 2010 the town of Gaston, South Carolina near Columbia was chosen as the first location for Bicycle City. A community where cycling …